Spelling is hard, and sports fans know it. No matter what sport you follow, you don't have to look too hard for player names that defy logical spelling. Thanks in part to sports like basketball and baseball attracting higher concentrations of international players, the pro sports world is chock full of names most casual fans couldn't spell to save their lives.
And then there are commonly known names that have been rampantly misspelled for years, even decades. Scottie Pippen might seem like a straightforward name, but the Hall of Famer revealed a few years ago that his first name has actually been misspelled his entire career.
In honor of Pippen's 49th birthday, we present 10 sports figures with names that would flummox even the Scripps National Spelling Bee finalists.
10 Commonly Misspelled Sports Names
It's hard to imagine the name "Scottie Pippen" any other way, but Pippen himself said that wasn't the original spelling. He had entered the NBA Draft in 1987 as Scotty, but when his name was called, he was referred to as Scott. Pippen told Esquire in 2011 that the "-ie" ending is easier for people to remember, for some reason.
There's no explaining that spelling, which has some French influence due to Favre's Mississippi roots. The "v" and "r" are flipped when you pronounce the name, leading to constant misspellings of the NFL great's name.
Much like Favre's last name, Wade's first name features two letters that appear out of place. Many fans aren't even aware that the spelling is non-traditional, as was highlighted in a great Jimmy Kimmel segment this summer.
According to a study published in The Wall Street Journal, Buerhle's name is the third-most misspelled name in sports. It might have something to do with that "H" in the middle, although the vowel arrangement probably doesn't help.
Two Z's? Who saw that coming? Coach K's last name is a miracle if it actually survived Ellis Island without being mucked up on immigration papers. Regardless, it's one of the toughest names to spell in all of sports.
As far as typo candidates go, Peralta's first name seems like a strong one. But the major league infielder says the spelling is intentional: While the unorthodox "H" placement may throw off American fans, it's actually quite common in his native Dominican Republic.
They call him the Greek Freak, which is deserved: He's a 6-foot-11 teenager with a deep well of basketball potential. Milwaukee is happy to have him, but they're probably just as grateful for the Copy and Paste functions on their computers.
The Russians and Scandinavians have brought plenty of tough-to-spell names into professional hockey. Miikka Kiprusoff may be the king of them all. The Finnish player's first name is most commonly misspelled with only one I.
The Lions' defensive lineman's first name comes from the Ngemba language in Cameroon, and it means "House of Spears." Despite the challenges in spelling, it's quite accurate for the aggressive NFL star.
Jamison has put together a long, respectable NBA career that has spanned parts of three decades. For all of that time, people have been misspelling his first name, most often by switching the "W" and "A."